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How to Restart or Shut Down a Locked-Up Computer in Windows Vista

In some cases, Windows fails to respond to keyboard and mouse commands. This is known as a locked-up or frozen state. To restart or shut down a locked-up computer, you can try pressing special key combinations. If all else fails, to restart or shut down a locked-up computer, you may have to press the reset or power button.

Try the following approaches, in the following order, to restart or shut down your PC:

  • Approach 1: Press Esc twice.

    This action rarely works but give it a shot anyway.

  • Approach 2: Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete simultaneously and choose Start Task Manager.

    If you’re lucky, the Task Manager appears with the message that you discovered an unresponsive application. The Task Manager lists the names of currently running programs, including the one that’s not responding. Click the name of the program on the Application tab that’s causing the mess and then click the End Task button.

    If that still doesn’t do the trick, press Ctrl+Alt+Delete again and look for the little red button in the bottom-right corner of the screen. Click the little arrow next to that button’s circle. Choose Shut Down from the menu that pops up.

  • Approach 3: If the preceding approaches don’t work, push the computer’s reset button. If the Turn Off Computer box appears, choose Restart.

  • Approach 4: If not even the reset button works (and some computers don’t even have reset buttons anymore), turn the computer off by pushing its power button. (If that merely brings up the Turn Off the Computer menu, choose Restart, and your computer should restart.)

  • *Approach 5: If you hold in the computer’s power button long enough (usually about 4 to 5 seconds), the PC will eventually stop resisting and turn off.

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